Monday, September 17, 2012


On a recent trip to Philadelphia, I had the privilege of visiting four Catholic campuses on immigration issues:  Villanova University, St. Joseph's University, La Salle University, and Cabrini College.  I am both impressed and inspired with the faculty and students as they help educate about our immigrant brothers and sisters, and how they are reaching out to them in the greater Philadelphia area.

At Cabrini College I attended a large gathering to give my power point presentation on immigration issues.  A young lady gave an opening reflection, and I was truly impressed.  With her permission I am reprinting it here for you--it is truly insightful and powerful.

I'm an immigrant but not like you think.  You're one too and I'm about to tell you how.

These are the things people characterize an immigrant as:

     *  how you sound

     *  the language you speak

     *  what you don't know

     *  your mannerisms, and

     *  the questions you may ask.

You're an immigrant too.  Listen close because I'm about to tell you how.

Remember your first day in a new place?

Whether it be college, work or even a new face?

You come to a foreign land, and new country and eventually want to be loved.

Am I wrong?

You expect that over time you will be accepted and that this foreign country won't be one anymore.

That your face won't be a new one but one that's become a part of.

You're an immigrant too, listen close because I already told you.

When you say immigrant it should hit home, no matter where your home lies.

Don't look across the border for someone to sympathize with.

Look in your own eyes and realize you long for that very same prize.

That your face won't be a new one but one that's become a part of.

A part of a melting pot of culture that we all have a piece of in us.

We can't deny someone else our warm embrace only because they have a different face.

Think of immigration as your own immigration.

Jenay M. Smith